The United Nations General Assembly (Global Institutions Series)
M. J. Peterson
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The United Nations General Assembly is arguably the most important discussion forum in global politics. This is a concise and accessible introduction to its history, organization and politics.
Examining the development of the Assembly as a forum for improving international cooperation, this study details its development of shared norms and goals in the political context of the immediate post-World War II era. The Assembly has had to adapt quickly to the Cold War, the South-North contentions over development, the dissolution of the Soviet bloc and the rise in concern about terrorism.
This study also presents a fascinating look ahead to three potential futures: a world of states, a world government, and a world of network governance. To flourish in any of these contexts it shows how the practices of the institution will require considerable change. The common criticisms of the Assembly are also covered in depth, such as that it is just a talking shop; that it is hamstrung by the Security Council and that it benefits the rich at the expense of the poor.
This is an ideal book for students of the United Nations, international organizations and global governance.
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comfortably with, and drew in varying degrees on, Marxist theories of imperialism, which also attributed the problems of developing countries to their subordinate place in a global capitalist economy. The emphasis on state planning and co-ordination In the 1960s and 1970s the common structuralist and Marxist belief that extensive state management of the economy, whether through nationalizing major areas of economic activity or through comprehensive central planning, provided a superior path to
Co-operation among States,48 the committee is now overshadowed by other negotiating forums. By 1970, most main committees’ workloads were heavy enough to elicit agreement that the assembly needed to “rationalize” its procedures. The main impetus for change has been the increasingly severe time pressure caused by the tension between members’ desire to maintain an open assembly agenda and reluctance to drop any item from the agenda as long as even a small group of states wants it on the list. What
to play on Western feelings of guilt about the legacies of colonialism. Such arguments had considerable influence in the more left-wing segments of Western public opinion. Certain Western governments – most notably the Scandinavians and the Dutch – exhibited strong sympathy with Third World aspirations. However, the guilt rhetoric had little effect on the major Western powers or Japan and proved insufficient to secure acceptance of the most expansive visions of a new international economic order.
concerns to the Economic and Social Council. The Security Council was largely deadlocked between 1947 and 1986, only functioning as anticipated when the ideologically divided “Permanent 5” agreed to use it. The Trusteeship Council never supervised as many colonial administrations as hoped because most colonies were kept outside the Trusteeship System, and lost all role in 1994 when the last of the eleven Trust Territories became independent. The Economic and Social Council failed to develop as
regional groups 43–50, 45–8t, 93, 127 regular sessions 3, 58–66 Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) 15 Report on the Work of the Organization 41 representative government, definition of 132 Republic of China (ROC) 92, 98, 119n.9 Resolutions: 377(V) 14, 106, 88n.55; 1514 (XV) 62; Zionism is a form of racism 26, 60, 103 resolutions: adoption of 75–7t; authority to adopt 67, 68; automatic majorities 123–5; bureaucratic uptake 102; consensus 74–9, 83; decisions and 128–9; impact of 103–5,